Born in Rochester, NY; married; wife's name Ruth; children: two daughters. Education: Parsons School of Design, B.F.A., 1975. Hobbies and other interests: Skiing, surfing, reading.
Artist and illustrator. Push Pin Press, former researcher; New York Times, New York, NY, contributing editorial illustrator, 1974–84; Inxs, Inc. (artists' political illustration collective), co-founder, 1980; freelance illustrator, beginning 1980s. Teacher of illustration and design at Brigham Young University, School of Visual Arts, and University of Utah. Exhibitions: Drawings and paintings exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, NY.
Awards from American Illustration, Print, Communication Arts, Society of Illustrators, 3×3 magazine, and American Institute of Graphic Arts; Key Award for Best Comedy Poster, 2004; American Library Association Notable Book Award, 2005, for Wow! City!
Wow! City!, Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 2004.
Beasty Bath, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Wow! America!, Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 2006.
Courage of the Blue Boy, Tricycle Press (Berkeley, CA), 2006.
(Illustrator) Christine Loomis, Hattie Hippo, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Work in Progress
Writing and illustrating more books for children.
After graduating from New York City's Parsons School of Design, Robert Neubecker remained in Manhattan, working as a freelance illustrator for twenty years, his work appearing in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, Time, Newsweek, and Wall Street Journal. Neubecker moved to Utah in 1994. In 2004 he made his publishing debut with the children's picture book Wow! City!, and he has gone on to create the follow-up volume Wow! America! as well as the picture book Beasty Bath. Dubbed an "ebullient bedtime book … full of toddler enthusiasm" by a Publishers Weekly contributor, Beasty Bathfeatures an imaginative girl making the most of bath time by morphing into a succession of very un-scary creatures, from sea monsters to lion. The Publishers Weekly contributor went on to dub Neubecker's book "an inventive bedtime romp," while in School Library Journal Angela J. Reynolds compared the book's "colorful, playful, and imaginative watercolor-and-ink cartoon illustrations" to those of noted illustrator Maurice Sendak.
Wow! City!, published in 2004, was inspired by Neu-becker's own experience while on a vacation to New York City with his two-year-old daughter, Izzy. Excited by the bustle and energetic atmosphere surrounding her, the young girl in Neubecker's picture book exclaims her excitement at a variety of sights and sounds using her somewhat limited vocabulary. A related book, Wow! America!, expands the girl's sightseeing to a panorama that encompasses America's diversity. "Children should adore exploring the numerous details of each scene," commented a Publishers Weekly critic of Wow! City!, referring to the street scenes in which readers can hunt for yellow-haired Izzy and her father in the crowd. In School Library Journal Jane Barrer commented on the "life, action, and detail" present in the colorful art, which Neubecker created by combining inked drawings and computerized coloration. Noting the artist/author's use of thick outlines and saturated colors, Jennifer Matt-son praised Neubecker's work in Booklist, calling Wow! City! "a dazzling picture-book debut that beautifully transmits the wonder of the view from a baby-carrier backpack."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of Wow! City!, p. 480.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of Wow! City!, p. 871; September 15, 2005, review of Beasty Bath, p. 1031.
Publishers Weekly, September 20, 2004, review of Wow! City!, p. 61; December 19, 2005, review of Beasty Bath, p. 63.
School Library Journal, September, 2004, Jane Barrer, review of Wow! City!, p. 176; September, 2005, Barbara Auerbach, review of Wow! City!, p. 59; January, 2006, Angela J. Reynolds, review of Beasty Bath, p. 110; June 2006, Jodi Kearns, review of Wow! America!, p. 139.
Robert Neubecker Home Page, http://www.neubecker.com (April 11, 2006).
BookPage.com, http://www.bookpage.com/ (April 11, 2006), "Meet Robert Neubecker."
Hyperion Web site, http://www.hyperionbooksforchildren.com/ (April 11, 2006), "Robert Neubecker."